In what looked like a sure top 10 finish, the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GS.R, driven by Matt Bell and Robin Liddell, was hit from behind late in the race putting the team off the pace in the third round of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, held at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Despite the whack-in-the-back, Team Manager Mike Johnson came away from this wet and soggy south Florida race optimistic about the potential for this car and team to climb ever higher in the standings.
Johnson: "I think we are on the verge of seeing some great results with our GS team as we continue to perform at a very high level. This was the first weekend with our new engineers and they are just getting started. We had a great race and ran in the top ten with some great driving and pit stops. We were closing in on our first top -10 finish of the year and we were taken out from behind which ended the race for us. Matt was able to recover and we finished 14th, but it was another lost weekend regarding results.
"It seems like every weekend we are fighting for a top 5 finish and something happens on the last few laps." Johnson continued, "We are also hoping to see some help from Grand-Am before we get to New Jersey, because the new Porsche is in a different league right now and we have really not been able to fight the BMW's and Mustangs since Grand-Am added the weight after our two wins last year."
Matt Bell was once again joined by Robin Liddell for this race as regular season driver John Edwards continues to convalesce from the injuries he received in a skiing accident. Bell too feels this weekend showed a light does burn at the end of the tunnel.
Bell: "This was a hard-fought weekend! There were many moments in this event when we could have folded and said that the issues experienced were insurmountable. But once again the Stevenson team did not fold. Instead, they all pushed on to the bitter end. The only regret I have is that the flavor I'm left with is a bitter one."
Liddell was somewhat happy to get a second run in the GS Camaro and he had only high hopes that this weekend would be one filled with plenty of racing action. He recounts the race that unfolded, beginning under miserably wet conditions.
Liddell: "After my debut in the Stevenson GS Camaro at Barber I was looking